Definition of onomatopoeia in English:

onomatopoeia

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle).

    • ‘From time to time, of course, name and music fuse, and you get a kind of etymological perfection that's somehow close to onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘I asked his teacher when they studied onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘It's obvious I'm horribly out of place: I don't know what onomatopoeia means, I don't like metafiction, I haven't read any of the Brontë sisters, and I don't care about the correct placement of semi-colons; I'm on edge.’
    • ‘What he admired in these poets was their inventive use of word and sound in every device of onomatopoeia, alliteration, pun and palindrome.’
    • ‘Yet the aural discipline plays a major part in poetic meaning, in ways that go far beyond mere onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘This seems like the sort of place that would take onomatopoeia too far.’
    • ‘It combines - appropriately in four letters - the notion of ripping, rooting, offing and torting in mellifluous onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘‘Zing’ was the only proper onomatopoeia one could ever really come up with.’
    • ‘Even in its expression it aims at excellence by means of word-play, onomatopoeia, and so forth.’
    • ‘If you're sceptical about the role played by sound symbolism and straight-out onomatopoeia in word origins, Liberman marshals some impressive evidence in its favour.’
    • ‘The sounds of living, onomatopoeia and words, were the purpose of that voice.’
    • ‘It may have imagery, alliteration, and/or onomatopoeia if desired by the writer.’
    • ‘Did you ever consider approaching your linguistics department with a master's thesis solely dedicated to onomatopoeia?’
    • ‘You talk about the ‘undercurrent of muddlement’ and I love the way you've used the word ‘muddlement’, because ‘muddlement’ almost has an onomatopoeia; there is muddlement in ‘muddlement’.’
    • ‘I've been thinking recently about onomatopoeia: the sound words we use to describe actions.’
    • ‘The Latin word was tussis, with its own form of onomatopoeia, giving modern words like toux, tosse (Italian and Portuguese), and toz (Spanish).’
    • ‘The book is largely wordless, relying instead on a symphony of onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘Let's just say there's an element of onomatopoeia in the phrase.’
    • ‘Some people just use onomatopoeia, while others insist on miming the playing of drums and crashing of cymbals.’
    • ‘There is a penchant for onomatopoeia in this poetry that insists on the glottal while pushing toward an uncanny, tin-canny tune: gling and ting, KABOOM and kerpow, dzziitt, shh sh, tsk tsk.’
    1. 1.1 The use of onomatopoeia for literary effect.
      • ‘Paradise Lost is also, of course, filled with mimetic sound effects, onomatopoeia and mimetic syntax, which only work if the poem is sounded.’

Origin

Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek onomatopoiia word-making, from onoma, onomat- name + -poios making (from poiein to make).

Pronunciation

onomatopoeia

/ˌɒnə(ʊ)matəˈpiːə/